The ceremony was attended by Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, Energy Minister Alexander Novak, Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov, Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin, Novatek CEO Leonid Mikhelson, Total CEO Patrick Pouyanné and Christophe de Margerie’s family members.
The tanker has been designed for year-round transportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the severe environment of the Kara Sea as part of the Yamal LNG project. This project allows for the development of the Yuzhno Tambeiskoyegas condensate field and the construction of a plant with a capacity of 16.5 million tonnes of LNG per year.
The vessel will bear the name of Christophe de Margerie, a French entrepreneur and former Total CEO, who died tragically in a plane crash at Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport in 2014.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends, good afternoon,
I am extremely glad to welcome you at today’s solemn ceremony dedicated to the naming of the new Arctic LNG tanker of the Sovcomflot company. After successfully going through ice testing in March, the tanker has made its first arrival at the Russian port of Sabetta in the North.
From now on, this modern vessel will bear the name of a French entrepreneur and a real, big friend of our country, of Russia – Cristophe de Margerie.
He possessed a unique strategic vision and did so much to strengthen friendly, partnership relations with Russia, while being the driving force behind the implementation of a range of large joint energy projects.
Naming the ship in his honour serves as another symbol of our sincere and kind disposition to this outstanding man and as a commemoration of his memory.
Cristophe de Margerie, the most modern tanker of a high ice class, will become the flagship in a line of 15 similar vessels. They have all been designed for Yamal LNG, a large-scale project being carried out jointly with both our French and Chinese partners.
I would like to stress that this project, without exaggeration, is highly important, not only for our country, and not only for Europe: but this project, in general also contributes immensely toward the development of the world’s power industry.
It serves to promote the successful development of global spaces, creates demand for innovative technology in production and transportation of hydrocarbons, and creates jobs, both in our country and abroad.
Yamal LNG plays an important role in the development of the Northern Sea Route, and in the further study and exploration of the Arctic. I hope that the pace at which the project is being implemented will only grow and that all our joint plans will be, unquestionably implemented.
And, of course, I am counting on the successful launch of new, promising, large-scale projects with our French, Chinese and foreign partners, as well as on our growing cooperation in the extremely rich Arctic Region.
Once again, I would like to congratulate everyone on the today’s solemn event and wish our friends all the very best and much continued success
Thank you for your attention.